Three-quarters (75%) of Belgian entrepreneurs prefer their own ccTLD over any other top level domain, according to recent research published by DNS Belgium. The survey found trust and confidence in .be is particularly high among all Belgians and they associate their ccTLD with quality and reliability.
While not the top, the top level domain was cited as the third most important reason for trusting a website, after an encrypted connection (https instead of http) and reference to an official website (e.g. by means of a logo), according to research which was conducted by Insites Consulting on behalf of Belgium’s country code top level domain manager. The research gauged the trust and confidence in the different domain name extensions and questioned very specifically also entrepreneurial Belgians who have never registered a domain name.
The survey found entrepreneurs and average Belgians alike are more likely to trust a company website than their Facebook page. They also have more trust and confidence in an email address linked to a domain name than a generic email address using outlook.com, yahoo.com or gmail.com.
Entrepreneurial Belgians are also more likely to know that both a website and an email address can be linked to a domain name than the average Belgian. 59% of them would register a domain name to have a personal mail address (in combination with a website or otherwise).
There are also differences in how entrepreneurs and the average Belgian view the role of a website. Average Belgians were found to view a website primarily as a source of information while entrepreneurial Belgians have a more commercial approach. They usually have a better idea of what a website can mean personally and professionally and see it as a means of making they and their activity better known and for keeping in contact with customers, prospects and stakeholders.
The entrepreneurial Belgians were found to choose .be primarily because it says something about their location and is popular and reliable, but also because it clearly indicates the target group they want to reach. They see a .be domain name and website as something which is logically connected with setting up their own company.
The research also asked about preferences for top level domains with .be and .com the most familiar, best-known and trusted.
The Belgian new gTLDs of .vlaanderen and .brussels were familiar to 31% and 21% of entrepreneurial Belgians respectively. Both were found to have a strong political connotation, which .be does not. They are associated more with language and location than .be. Among average Belgians results here were similar.